A part of what makes wine so special and a pillar of civilisation is that it can be a tangible link between the present and the past – one that can be experienced directly. Certain wines, such as Madeira, are made to last forever. Sherry matures in a solera system, where the madre (‘mother’) wine, which can be hundreds of years old, is enlivened every year with the new wine. Age-worthy claret can spend decades lying on its side developing a complicated personality and a living sense of history. The expectation is that the wine will say something interesting in its maturity, when the bottle is ...


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